Work at all of the Kellogg Company’s U.S. cereal plants came to a halt Tuesday as roughly 1,400 workers went on strike, but it wasn’t immediately clear how much the supply of Frosted Flakes or any of the company’s other iconic brands would be disrupted.
The strike includes plants in Omaha, Nebraska Battle Creek, Michigan; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.
The union and the Battle Creek-based company have been at an impasse at the bargaining table for more than a year, said Daniel Osborn, president of the local union in Omaha. The dispute involves an assortment of pay and benefit issues such as the loss premium health care, holiday and vacation pay and reduced retirement benefits
“The company continues to threaten to send additional jobs to Mexico if workers do not accept outrageous proposals that take away protections that workers have had for decades,” said Anthony Shelton, president of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union.
Shelton describes the situation precisely. The food companies want no union jobs and they want no American jobs. They want to shift all of this to Mexico. It’s nothing but pure profit taking from the employer. There really isn’t a good reason for the union to cave either because we already know from this entire history of outsourcing production that the company will move the jobs either way. Maybe caving could buy a couple of years of starkly reduced pay and benefits and get a few people toward retirement. But that’s as good as it is going to get. Might as well stand up for all you have gained in this case and hope for the best.